DALLAS, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), which in 1996 became the first commercial television station group to provide free airtime for congressional and gubernatorial candidates, announced that it will offer the "It's Your Time" program for the eighth consecutive election cycle this fall.
The Company also announced election coverage plans, stating that Belo's news-producing stations will televise at least one hour of political coverage each week in the six weeks prior to the general election on November 2. The Company's election coverage in 2010 may include debates, issue- and ad-watch programming, and interviews with local, state and federal candidates. Debates and "It's Your Time" spots will be streamed and archived on Belo Web sites through Election Day. In 2008, Belo stations broadcast more than 210 hours of election coverage from mid-September through Election Day in November, including several congressional and gubernatorial debates.
Candidates participating in "It's Your Time" each receive five minutes of free airtime – four minutes to tell viewers why they should be elected and one minute to answer a question specific to the candidate's individual race. In 2008, 140 qualified candidates for U.S. House, U.S. Senate and state gubernatorial offices participated in "It's Your Time," receiving more than 14 hours of free airtime. Since the program's inception, Belo has provided free airtime to more than 800 candidates.
"Belo has a deep commitment to providing robust election coverage that helps create an informed electorate in the local communities we serve," said Dunia A. Shive, Belo's president and Chief Executive Officer. Since Belo's introduction of this program, other broadcast companies have joined Belo's efforts and are also voluntarily providing free airtime in their respective markets.
Belo's coverage plans prior to the election include:
- News-producing television stations in Belo markets will broadcast at least one hour of issue- or candidate-centered election coverage per week. This may include candidate interviews, live debates, and issue- and ad-watch programming. Most stories will be locally produced, with assistance from Belo's Washington, D.C.-based reporters, and will cover federal, state and local races.
- Belo Web sites will make the information readily available to voters in each of Belo's markets. For example, candidate issue statements and question-and-answer sessions will be posted through Election Day, and e-town meetings will be hosted on several of Belo's Web sites, allowing voters to express their opinions and gather information on relevant local issues in an online setting. Belo Web sites also will provide voter registration information and links to helpful voting-related sites.
- Belo's regional and local cable news channels will offer a variety of programming, including one-on-one candidate interviews, single-issue debates, and replays of "It's Your Time" segments and Belo election coverage.
About Belo Corp.
Belo Corp. (BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly attractive markets. Belo stations rank first or second in nearly all of their local markets. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Treasury Operations, at 214-977-6835.
SOURCE Belo Corp.